Trump and his allies reportedly wanted to spend the spring releasing vicious attack ads against former Vice President Joe Biden, but the coronavirus pandemic disrupted these plans. The Trump campaign has reportedly decided to replicate its 2016 strategy and attack Biden as a member of the political establishment.
Once again, according to the report, Trump will run as an outsider determined to upend the political system and rid Washington of “swamp creatures” like Biden. Some of those close to the president believe that the strategy could work because there are major similarities between Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who represented the Democratic Party in 2016.
“I think it’s really analogous to 2016 in lots of major thematic ways. If you switch out Clinton for Biden, it overlays pretty amazingly, with the exception that Biden is now even further to the left of Clinton and I never could have dreamed of that,” Trump adviser David Urban said.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh downplayed the rumors of there being a shift in strategy. He said that Trump’s team is not consciously trying to replicate the 2016 campaign, arguing that Clinton and Biden are so similar that the attacks that worked four years ago could work again.
“I don’t think it’s a question of using any particular playbook. They are about to nominate another candidate who lo and behold has almost the exact same problems. He happens to have the same vulnerabilities. It’s not our fault the Democrats nominated another swamp creature.”
“Obamagate” allegations will apparently be at the center of Trump’s 2020 campaign. The president and his allies are reportedly looking to weaponize the conspiratorial allegations against Biden in an attempt to paint the former vice president as a corrupt career politician who did all he could to undermine the Trump administration early on.
Multiple members of team Biden told the Washington Post that Trump won’t be able to revive the Clinton playbook against Biden. Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the former vice president, said that the Trump campaign is starting to look “impotent” because its “tactics and strategies haven’t evolved.”
Biden’s pollster John Anzalone pointed out that voters do not approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and explained that Biden has one key advantage Clinton did not have in 2016. According to Anzalone, polling shows that voters who dislike both candidates lean Biden, while the majority of those who disliked both Trump and Clinton in 2016 ended up voting for Trump.